Spoilers ahead from the May 2 Grey's Anatomy Season 15 and Station 19 Season 2 crossover event.
Oh, man. At least Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 didn't end their heartbreaking crossover event with "Chasing Cars." That would've really killed us off. As it was, fans were left sobbing after the shocking death of Station 19's Fire Chief Lucas Ripley (Brett Tucker). Many fans blamed Shonda Rhimes again, whether she was directly involved in the decision or not, with some viewers reliving the trauma they felt when Grey's killed off Denny Duquette and Derek Shepherd.
Before the two-hour event ended in tears, there was a lot of love across both shows, with some awkward declarations no one knew how to handle.
The crossover started when Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli) helped a fallen man on the street in front of a flower shop and brought him to Grey Sloan. Turns out, that fallen man was the Seattle Fire Department's Fire Chief Ripley. So Glasses was the hero who saved his life. At least temporarily. Dr. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) had the biggest Grey's role across the Grey's-to-Station 19 crossover as Ripley's cardiologist. Turns out, he was exposed to toxins that quickly shut down his body to a point that not even Maggie could save him.
Before that point, though, Maggie and Ripley bonded over their awkward reactions to their significant others' declarations of love. Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams, who directed the Grey's half of the crossover) had asked Maggie to move in with him, and she freaked out in Maggie fashion. Station 19's Victoria "Vic" Hughes (Barrett Doss) had asked Chief Ripley to marry her and he also freaked out and didn't say anything in response. Before he collapsed on the street, Ripley had been out getting flowers on the way to give Vic his answer: Yes.
It took a while for Vic and Ripley to reconnect, and it was a shock to everyone else at Station 19 that Vic and the chief were even a thing. Sadly, by the time Vic and Ripley reunited, it was on his deathbed at the hospital. We did get to see flashbacks of their relationship, showing more of their time together and saying "I love you" to each other.
That deathbed scene -- when she imagined they were on vacation together with sand in their toes, when he wanted to get married right then but she realized there wasn't time -- the whole scene was just so touching:
It really did feel like Grey's Anatomy's Izzie (Katherine Heigl) and Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) all over again, so much promise cut short. Fans were traumatized, with some even comparing their feelings to when Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) lost Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey):
Vic Hughes actress Barrett Doss acknowledged the Denny comparisons in her post-episode interview with TV Guide. Here's what she said when asked if she felt like Ripley could be Station 19's Denny Duquette:
It was something that we talked about a lot. There were things that we were doing, even when we were shooting that scene, that goodbye scene, the farewell scene in the hospital where in the first few takes I got into the bed with him. It was so funny, because after that, Stacey McKee, our showrunner, was there and said, she came in and she goes, 'OK, you can't get into the bed. That's a Grey's thing with Denny.' And so we had to sort of avoid certain images that are so associated with Denny or with Meredith and Derek.
Despite aiming to avoid such comparisons, Station 19's crossover episode definitely left fans with Denny and Derek flashbacks. Barrett Doss said she hopes Ripley enjoys the same legacy as Denny, whose short run on Grey's Anatomy is still emotional for fans to recall:
Denny's been such a — he left such a long shadow in the Grey's Anatomy universe and hopefully Ripley will leave the same sort of shadow. I think he will. He certainly made an impression on, of course not just Victoria but the entire station and the rest of the entire department, of course, but all of characters we know.
Grey's Anatomy Season 15 and Station 19 Season 2 are winding down their 2018-2019 seasons. Grey's has 25 episodes, ending Thursday, May 16 at 8 p.m. Station 19 has 17 episodes, also ending May 16, after Grey's at 9 p.m. It's not clear yet whether it will return for Season 3. Keep up with all of the season finale dates and renewals/cancellations with our handy guides.